February 28, 2010
This is a state asserting its legal right to have candidates (including Canal Zone born McCain) prove their citizenship. Will this knock Obama off the ballot in 2012? Will Obama even run in 2012? Stay tuned for developments.
Measure that would require presidential candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Arizona to submit documents proving they meet the requirements to be president
Clever Legislators in Arizona Hit on New Way to Find Obama’s Birth Truth
By Jerry McConnell Thursday, February 25, 2010
I can’t speak for all of you out there reading this, but I sure do get a lot of concurrence from the readers of CFP articles regarding the absolute necessity to establish the validity of one Barack Hussein Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen” of the United States in accordance with the requirements as set down in Article 2 of the U. S. Constitution; Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly notwithstanding.
It seems that with each passing day more news is presented of cases of challenges from every corner of this country. Many of these cases have met with Judicial intransigence from the lethargic or shady decisions of many judges at many levels of our society all the way up the chain of command. But even so, there always seems to be some still pending a full hearing of even an open discussion which gives me, at least, the feeling of ‘what’s going on with this birth business’?
But as in life in these ever surprising United States, every now and then a bright light suddenly shines on a brilliant new attempt to solve a riddle or stalemate.
In the area of “Why didn’t I think of that?”, the AP authored an article that appeared in the February 23, 2010 edition of the New York Times titled, “Ariz. Lawmakers: Verify Citizenship of Candidates” in which it reported that 40 of the state’s 90 legislators sponsored a measure that would require presidential candidates who want to appear on the ballot in Arizona to submit documents proving they meet the requirements to be president.
The article further stated that “a state House committee on Tuesday approved the measure that was proposed by Skull Valley Republican Rep. Judy Burges.” Though it was not reported, the new requirement presumably will now appear on the state ballot in the Fall 2010 election to be held in Arizona.
It is an apparent attempt by the Arizona Legislature to force President Barack Obama to show his birth certificate to state officials if he runs for re-election.
Just imagine the consternation that will be passing through the minds of the Obama campaign organization as early as probably today on how to counter this action after they have spent close to 2 million dollars in legal fees to prevent having to disclose the information from the public.
White House officials have passed the controversy off as “politics” in an effort to discredit efforts to have Obama prove he is actually Constitutionally eligible to serve in the office of president.
While many have blamed Congress for not performing their official duties of clearing applicants prior to certification and acceptance of applications, there are equally as many who discredit them for conducting hearings in official sessions to force John McCain to produce his birth certificate prior to the presidential primaries in 2008.
In that charges of misfeasance of duty could be considered if it were to be proven that Congress deliberately neglected to perform that part of their assigned duties, such a proposition as the Arizona requirement of ballot application requirements could be extremely contentious to say the least.
Arizona will undoubtedly be in the spotlight during the upcoming months leading to the 2010 Fall National Elections, with a factious battle for a U. S. Senator seat by incumbent John McCain and challenger J. D. Hayworth, a former Arizona Congressman. Such a contest will often refer to McCain’s similar position in the 2008 proof of citizenship Congressional hearings.
Wanna bet the Obama apologizers will find a way to declare it un-Constitutional? Wouldn’t that be a ‘hoot’? The man who has thumbed his nose at the U. S. Constitution getting to use it to keep on abusing it.
Barack Obama, ever a man to seek the truth no matter where it might take him, has appointed SEIU leader and Democrat activist Andy Stern to his bipartisan fiscal commission.
Now, one must ask how a union leader, whose job is to engender spending by the companies rather than encourage thrift, is qualified to be on this commission. This is clearly a political appointment, payback to a loyal lapdog and it gives Obama some muscle with this group.
But there are others. For example, Ann Fudge, former CEO of Young and Rubicam Brands.
Here is some comments made by Ms. Fudge:
"I think one of the interesting challenges for democracy in our time is the fact that we have so many opportunities for people to express their points of view, whether it’s on the internet and express their points of view not always looking at the facts. So it’s almost like the person who can go and stand up on a soap box and express their feelings, but maybe not really have all the facts. And the interesting dynamic I think which I’m sure we’re going to be studying for awhile and it’s been my career, marketing and communications, is how is communications helping or hurting democracy and how is the spread of the internet and how is the fact that there is so many blog sites, what we would call micro marketing back in the day, to target a lot of different audiences. How does that influence the conversation and the discourse? And I think one of the challenges that we have is sometimes we’re losing the very civility and the openness and the listening to other points of view."
In other words, We The People, the "loud voices" are a detriment to civility.
Then there are her views on education;
" I have two things that are very important to me and I want to talk about one and that is, I’d like parental engagement. Because there is such dichotomy in the education of children of a certain class versus the poor and when you have parents who are worried about survival, family survival needs, it represents a unique challenge. Because they don’t always have the time to spend with their kids, so how do we help that? How do we support the poorer in our community so that we don’t lose their talented young people? Because for whatever reason parental engagement is not there. And we know students cannot be successful without the engagement of their family and their community answer, so how do we boost that? How do we reinforce that? And there are a lot of initiatives at work, whether it is giving parents a stipend if they attend a PTA meeting or they help their children or somehow they’re taking a program that helps them help their children with their study skills. But it’s just that whole parental engagement, because unless we fix that we’re going to perpetuate at least among the less fortunate in our society, it’s just going to be a generational problem.
And then secondly it is getting appropriate training so that our educators understand the link between public policy and how they can lead and help in the public policy frame as well as being educators as well as understanding the business of education. So there are programs that are being developed even at Harvard right now to have that whole comprehensive learning between understanding public policy, understanding the financial and business elements around education and understanding the curricula and academic needs to make the whole piece work."
and here is her idea of improving efficiency:
"The way I like to think about sustainability in business is that anyone running a business has to think about the business both in the short-term and over the long-term and we always have those pulls and tugs constantly in terms of business strategy. In terms of sustainability, it is something that we’re going to all be dealing with on a planet where resources are sort of shrinking. We know we’re dealing with issues around air quality. We know we’re dealing with issues around water. We know we’re dealing with climate issues. Whether you agree or disagree there are climatic changes that you have to manage.
And so one of the things, even simply if you can’t make major changes, you can even start with just helping your employees from an education and understanding of how their actions can impact where we are in terms of sustainability. One of the things that we talked about a lot was how do you build in the opportunity for flexibility at work? And that links so much into less people in cars on the road, just overall operating expenses for your office building, whether you need that office space, how often you use it. So I think we tend to think cap and trade and some of the other big things that are overarching that yes, for some medium to small size companies become a bit challenging, but everybody can help to make a difference. I think that is one of the things that we’re trying to do in terms of communication about everybody’s role in dealing with sustainability, both on a micro level and a macro level."
It's interesting to note that Ann Fudge was a member of Obama's campaign finance committee, and got a sweetheart deal for Swine Flu vaccine manufacturing out of it for Novartis, where she was a boardmember http://www.vtcommons.org/blog/2009/08/21/killing-sacred-cows-novartis-director-campaigns-obama-company-gets-sweet-deal
In short, Ms. Fudge is your traditional lefty in a business suit. She believes in the nanny state and in the concept that we have to make do with less. Oh, and does anyone really want someone named Fudge anywhere near the books?
So, Obama has appointed Erskine Bowles, former Clintonista chief of staph, er, staff, and serious retread GOP "Grandpa" Alan Simpson, old fudgie, Andy Stern, the favorite guest of the White House http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/31/white-house-lobbying-records-business-washington-lobby.html
Then we have Dave Cote, Chairman and CEO from Honeywell who, like Fudge, came up through General Electric and, according to Wikipedia (surely an impeachable source):
"Cote is a Democrat and has close ties with President Barack Obama and the Obama Administration as a whole. Right after President Obama took office in January 2009, Cote was one of the few CEOs invited to the White House for a tete-a-tete with the President. And after Obama took office, he became extremely influential in the White House. In November 2009, Cote was one of the 12 CEO's selected by the White House to host the US-India CEO Forum, which Cote and Ratan Naval Tata Co-Chaired.. The forum included other U.S. top-level executives including Vikram Pandit, Jamie Dimon and Indra Nooyi, among others."
He certainly introduced Obama at the White House Media Briefing on the Recovery Plan.
Dave Cote is also a Gang Greener, a Global Warming alarmist who believes we are consuming too much energy and too many resources, and he is laboring to scale back American consumption.
for example, he says;
"Reducing energy intensity while improving energy and economic security is a huge issue,” said Cote. “We won’t get there unless we address the behaviors inherent in the system. It is all very doable, we just have to get started.”
What are the "behaviors inherent in the system"? It is the behaviors of the CONSUMERS, of citizens living their lives as they see fit. In other words, he advocates governent telling us how we should use our energy.
I'm not sure how Cote is qualified to be a deficit hawk, except that he is a corporate bigshot making millions of dollars and an Obamabot.
Lastly we have Alice Rivlin, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, was assistant planning director for Lyndon Johnson's Department of Health, Education and Welfare, was the first director of the Congressional Budget Office, and was appointed by Bill Clinton to head the Office of management and budget. While her budget credentials are unimpeachable, her "bipartisanship" clearly is not; she was a fierce critic of Ronald Reagan's economic policies (which worked, as opposed to the Keynsian approach favored by people like Rivlin).
She is a big supporter of healthcare reform (although she opposes a public option) and a true believer in the stimulus http://daily.swarthmore.edu/2009/9/11/rivlin/
I'm not sure how she can be a deficit hawk and support the stimulus money spree, but she does.
Here is how she rated Obama's second 100 days and his actions on the economy:
"I would rate their performance very high, given they were handed an enormously difficult situation.
I agree that a large stimulus was necessary and they moved very quickly on that. I had some reservations about how the stimulus was done, but I think that most of it was exactly what was needed, especially the part that got money out to people who would spend it quickly. This includes extending unemployment benefits, increasing food stamps, and the aid to the states. Clearly the infrastructure part needed more careful planning and couldn't spend out very quickly.
I don't think we will know ever exactly how much difference the stimulus made because we don't know what would've happened without it. But it certainly mitigated the immediate damage and the precipitous fall of consumption and everything else that was going on."
Clearly, she is in line with Obama on spending and government programs.
So, how is this commission bipartisan? You have an Obamabot (Fudge), a Union Thug (Stern), another Obamabot who is in love with the One (Cote), a seriously worn retreat from the 1970's who believes blowing money is the way to save it, and former Clintonista Bowles as well as the ancient moderate Republican Alan Simpson.
Who on this commission is going to stand up and tell the president - and the American People - that we are spending too much and that the only way out is to cut back? Who will suggest tax cuts for the public rather than tax increases? That is the only point of this commission; to recommend raising taxes. They serve no other purpose, and will accomplish little else. This provides political cover for Obama, so that he will raise taxes "against his personal wishes" based on recommendations from this group of liberal Democrats.
And Obama named Stern to act as his strongarm, to push those few, weak individuals who may want to buck him. Not that there will be much bucking from this crowd, but he wants them nice and broken when they make their public announcement. He wants higher taxes and healthcare. That is their job - to give it to him.
This whole thing is a horrible farce.
Al Gore, perennial political chigger and Gang Greener, received a rather harsh welcome from some folks at the Apple shareholder's meeting. http://news.cnet.com/8301-31021_3-10459872-260.html
According to the article;
"At the first opportunity for audience participation just several minutes into the proceeding, a longtime and well-known Apple shareholder--some would say gadfly--who introduced himself as Shelton Ehrlich, stood at the microphone and urged against Gore's re-election to the board. Gore "has become a laughingstock. The glaciers have not melted," Ehrlich said, referring to Gore's views on global warming. "If his advice he gives to Apple is as faulty as his views on the environment then he doesn't need to be re-elected." '
Unfortunately Gore was re-elected to the board.
This should surprise no-one; a man with Gore's political contacts offer protection to a large corporation from the inevitable political shakedowns that companies experience. The Environmentalist lobby could make Apple pay dearly without some sort of payoff, and it's cheaper to keep a clown like Gore on the board (he can moonlight at children's parties) then to face the wrath and lawsuits of the Gang Green. Still, I don't see how any corporation can fail to understand that acquiescence ultimately costs them; just look at the tobacco companies, who tried repeatedly to come to some accomodation, and are now demonized beyond hope. Ditto the oil companies, that experienced something similar, but they learned a thing or two from what happened to "Big Tobacco" and fought back. It's ultimately bad business to surrender to these Progressive thugs.
Apple may learn that too late. Certainly Microsoft got a lesson in the late '90's; Clinton's Justice Department sued them for Trust violations and burst the tech bubble. Apple could be in for the same if they do not act now.
But then, these huge corporations are full of Harvard educated liberals, and often are dyed-in-the-wool libs. At the international business level corporate leaders think more about manuevering around government - and about using government to stop enterprising young enterpreneurs from overtaking them. Big business is statist at heart.
And so whatever is good for big government is good for big business. Corporate welfare, that money flowing from We the People into the accounts of tycoons, does not come from a Laissez-Fairez capitalism but from the neo-socialist system that an Obama has to offer. We see this in the immigration debate (and in George W. Bush) where the interests of business to find cheap labor trumpes national borders in the minds of the elite. (President Bush could honestly not understand why many of the people who donated to his campaign and voted for him were furious about the invasion of aliens.) Environmentalism, too, stands to make many of the well-positioned corporations rich indeed, as they will be the ones to sell carbon credits and the like. Look at T. Boone Pickens; he made millions as an oil man, and subsequently "went green". Why? He could make lots of money selling wind turbines, and he wanted the government to act to prop up his business.
But one must be careful of what one wishes for; the government giveth, but it also taketh away. It just depends on which way the money is flowing.
Which is part of why this Global Warming thing will not go away so easily; despite the fact that the science has broken, despite the fact that there has been no warming since 1995, despite record ice levels, despite that the models predictions are completely failed, despite proof that the main data centers have been systematically distorting data to suggest the Earth is warming, we are pushing forward with these international green schemes. Why? Money and power. Governments hope to build a new international order, essentially a world state, and corporations seek to profit off that. It really isn't that complicated.
So Gore keeps his seat at Apple, despite never having done so much as flipped burgers in the private sector.
And the lie continues.
Kansas legislator Kasha Kelly, a Republican, has added a provision to her bill to drug test welfare recipients. She now wants to have drug tests for state legislators. The article points out that many private citizens have to take drug tests for employment.
They need this in Washington, as well, in my opinion.
You can read the entire Associated Press article at:
February 27, 2010
Barack Obama thinks nothing of spending a trillion dollars on just one program - his socialized medicine scheme. He has already spent several trillion. Does anyone wonder what a trillion dollars looks like? Check it out.
Recently, John Stossel took the US Government to task when a blind Arizona State U. student sued his school because the Amazon Kindle e-book they were using in a pilot program wasn't fully accessible to the vision impaired. Stossel stated:
"When colleges innovated by having students use Kindle e-book readers instead of expensive textbooks, the Justice Department sued them, complaining that the Kindle discriminates against blind students."
END OF QUOTE
Looking a bit further into this matter, the four universities initially involved in the legal matter, one gets the rudiments of this case, namely that the current version of the Kindle doesn't technically allow all of its functions to be used or adapted by the visually impaired. Namely, the menu function works well for a sighted person using a Kindle as an audiobook, but cannot be used as a menu for visually impaired people.
"Four universities have agreed the will not purchase, recommend or promote use of the Kindle DX, or any other dedicated electronic book reader, unless the devices are fully accessible to blind students, according to the US Department of Justice.
The agreements came after the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind, along with a blind student at Arizona State University complained to the DOJ that use of the Kindle devices discriminates against students with vision problems. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits disability discrimination."
END OF QUOTE
Before I discuss the technicalities of ebook readers currently manufactured for the blind and visually impaired, there are two overriding arguments here.
I'm no attorney, but it appears that the University broke an implied contract. The current Kindle was the main focus of the discrimination case, but Arizona State registered a blind student in a class where it did not provide him with access to all the tools needed to complete the course work, i.e., a "book" that he could access. Perhaps in a year or two working a Kindle will become common knowledge for volunteer and paid readers for the blind, but that doesn't help this Arizona State student right now in receiving the services he paid for when he registered for the class.
The more complex meta-argument is that of the fallacy in the anti-Americans With Disability Act camp, that devices such as ebook readers for the blind and entrance ramps in stores for the disabled have no other use for the general public, that they are supposedly do not benefit any larger segment of the public and are an imposition on businesses. In fact, there are numerous other clients and customers who benefit from these adaptions to help the disabled. It is a false dichotomy.
Years ago, I noted that in my local bookstore that a ramp for wheelchairs also is a way for parents, mostly mothers, to enter the store with a baby carriage or stroller, in many cases accompanied by more than one child. Anecdotal conversations with mothers who recall not being able to enter stores when their children were young confirm my conclusions. You are welcome to do your own survey. The customer can shop and their children can urge additional purchases, ("Mommy, buy me this!") at the same time. Also, people who have fallen ill can benefit from the wheelchair ramp by having ambulance crews wheel them outside on a stretcher with greater ease.
When small children and infants are taken into account, the population segment helped is greatly increased. When travelers and business people engaged in commerce who carry wheeled suitcases and wheeled laptop bags are considered, the general population benefiting from these ramps - and the ones built into street corners - grows larger. The physically handicapped in need of an entrance ramp also include veterans of both recent and long ago wars, many of them injured in the service of their country - and they don't always shop alone. To attempt to reduce this to an either-or, "capitalists vs. statists" Disabilities Act argument, is to overlook many dimensions of this issue and many other people involved.
In the case of the visually impaired, when the government mandated that the Amazon Kindle and other ebook devices be accessible to the vision impaired, Mr. Stossel and others did not take into account the issue of a larger population and market for full function talking ebooks: senior citizens who can't read the small type they used to - and can't always carry heavy books as in their past, as well as wounded veterans. This is, once again, not an either-or, "capitalists vs. statists" argument, even if some want to attempt to reduce it to that for expediency.
My late father, a non-computer user who was born before 1920, used to benefit from my enlarging news article's text for him either at websites that had that capability or by my copying the stories to a new file where he would read them in 12 or 16 point type, often boldfaced. We would later print them out the stories for distribution to his fellow senior friends in Florida with the same limited vision. The young techies at Kindle who can still read 10 point type with ease will have, either today or tomorrow, parents, grandparents - and themselves - all having the same limitations on their range of vision. There are a number of people today entering their 60s and 70s who are cell phone users (one sees them in public places quite often) and would adapt to an enhanced Kindle device for the visually impaired with greater ease than my late dad.
Some of you may be thinking, "Who wants a bunch of seniors as customers? They need a lot of hand holding." Is the business environment that good today that one can turn away a new population of customers? Have you ever seen a senior refused to be sold a cell phone in your local stores?
Going on to the technicalities of ebooks and other devices that aid the visually impaired, New York City's Baruch College has one of the oldest and most famous computer centers for the visually impaired, dating from the late 1970's. The Baruch Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP) http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/ccvip/ Their website has a recent online video in which their staff, many of them blind, give detailed information on the latest ebook readers, one free from the government and two commercial products - all
of which have a talking menu. It is entitled "Accessible eBook Readers," takes 100 minutes to completely view and/or hear, and the link is http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/dml/engine.php?action=viewAsset&mediaIndex=1106 This online video makes it clear that the technology the government demanded to be built into the Amazon Kindle before it became the college standard etextbook reader has already been invented and implimented by others.
A second recent online video lecture from Baruch's Visually Impared Computer Lab entitled "Accessibility in Apple Products," takes 91 minutes to view or hear and its link is
Here it clearly states that a standard late model Apple computer or iPod or iPhone, with their built-in Voiceover software, solves many or all of these ebook menu problems mentioned in the Kindle case, even without some software and hardware guru outside of Apple inventing an aftermarket add on device for the visually impaired.
The new iPad with its iBook reader won't be on the market for weeks or longer, I was informed at Apple's New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue. There will also soon be an advanced iPad STK model which will facilitate the creation of aftermarket add ons by software and hardware gurus outside of Apple for any number of products, probably some to aid the vision impaired.
The Americans With Disabilities Act focuses on smaller groups in need - yet the rest of the population has larger segments whose needs mirror those of the disabled. The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 focused on military needs to overcome legal objections, yet it created a system of roads for commerce as well as military transport. It is not wise to focus on the narrow legal wording of a bill to even more narrowly define its impact on the Nation.
In a real way, equipment developed for the disabled has spurred creative efforts for new products for larger segments of the population. In a simpler legal and technological time, a teacher of the deaf named Alexander Graham Bell attempted to invent a "telegraph for the deaf." We know this device as the telephone. Today voice recognition software which types text on a computer screen is not only for those with severe arthritis but those that have to enter a large number of words into a file. And an ebook that can plug into large monitors has value for lecture halls and corporate training and presentations, not just for the visually impaired. The "Us vs. Them," Free Market vs. Government Mandate argument against the Kindle ebook reader is truly based on a false dichotomy. Wiser heads will turn it into a Win-Win situation.
February 26, 2010
A North Carolina school assigned students an essay on what kind of deal they would make with the Devil. A Christian girl refused to do it and went public. As the girl's mother said (or words close to this on the video), "We can't mention God in the classroom, but we can bring in the Devil?"
I originally got this story from Selwyn Duke, AT contributor. Following the links back to the source of the story, here it is, complete with tv news video from North Carolina.
Student says assignment was inappropriate
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- A Cumberland County high school student says a homework assignment violated her Christian beliefs, so she took a stand.
Tieanna Trough is an A-B honor roll student at Gray's Creek High School. The junior potentially sacrificed her good grades over her Christian faith.
Trough refused to write an essay on making a deal with the Devil.
"I believe you don't write about how to sell your soul to the Devil," she said.
Trough's English class was studying the Washington Irving short story "The Devil and Tom Walker" - a miser who makes a get rich deal with the devil, then later tries to back out of the deal.
Trough says when the teacher told students to write an essay on how they would sell their souls - or what trade they would make with the Devil - she refused, saying that compromised her Christian values and her parents agreed.
"We can't allow God into the classrooms, but yet they are going to allow the Devil in the classroom, that's the way I felt," Trough's mother Monice McLean said. "They were told if they didn't do it they would get a zero."
Monice McLean-Trough says an alternate assignment was also unacceptable, so they complained to school officials.
"I think we had a genuine complaint and we just got lip service instead of really getting attention to the subject," father Frank Trough said.
Trough says other classmates also objected to the assignment.
But the school's principal, John Gibbs, says the short story is text-book curriculum and he hasn't heard any other complaints.
"I don't think it's anything wrong," Gibbs said. "I mean parents are going to do what they think is correct and I respect that, we can sit down and talk about what we think is right."
Trough says what's right is not making a deal with the Devil.
Monday, the school gave Trough a third alternate subject, how and why money is important.
Trough and her parents say that is more agreeable - if not a harder subject to explain.
Trough's parents say they wanted to get their story out just to make sure other parents are aware of what - and how - some things are being taught.
I haven't passed anything on "Global Warming" along in quite awhile. Too many other things going on. But here, on American Thinker, is another great debunking article. Needless to say, this writer has his stuff together!
February 25, 2010
Now here is a good idea! http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100224/ARTICLE/2241029
One of the more aggravating things that the younger generation has gotten into is radical chic; Che Guevera t-shirts, communist berets, and the like. The notion that it is somehow cool to be a butchering communist thug is beyond appalling, and is illustrative of a completely ignorant society. If these oh-so-hip kids knew what it was they were celebrating, they would be ashamed of themselves.
Social Studies teacher Patricia Johnston came up with a way to enlighten young empty noggins; she created a chic communist state, dividing her Florida school with a paper Berlin Wall and forcing the kids on the east side to behave like comrads:
According to the Herald Tribune article:
"Propaganda posters with phrases like "technology is unnecessary and degrades intelligence" lined the hallways, and gazebos and other recreation areas were marked as "unnecessary installations."
Teachers on the East German side taught lessons from a communist perspective.
As an East German general, Stephany gathered intelligence from other officers and handed out punishment to enemies of the state.
She looked the part, wearing a black business suit and black stockings, heels and dark eyeliner. Hundreds of other students wore military jackets -- and sometimes complete uniforms -- with red arm bands signifying their communist allegiance.
"I looked up 'communist women's fashions of the day' online," Stephany said. "The women all had pale faces and red lipstick. You had to look cold and imposing."
Most of the day's activities were at the wall itself and the five checkpoints where students could cross.
Students were given passports that were stamped as they crossed; illegal crossings and other disobedience was recorded in the passports.
"Although we really can't show them exactly what it was like, we want to show that the east was more strict," said student Marine Robbins, who commanded a checkpoint. "We've had quite a few people that have been belligerent and just don't agree at all with the simulation."
Marine said some students protested the project, including setting up Facebook pages to rally the opposition. But Marine said the protests actually simulated similar efforts during the real German struggle and made the entire exercise more authentic."
It's about time; every American student should be given a chance to see how unhappy life is in a "worker's paradise" where every action is regulated and every thought circumscribed. Man was meant to be free, and no matter how easy life is in a prison it is still a prison, a place to flee. Too many American children fail to understand this basic premise.
But, of course, their parents have failed to understand it as well, and we have had a growing welfare state here in the U.S. as a result, culminating in the election of Barack Hussein Obama (mmm, mmm, mmm) and the forces of collectivism disguised as "Hope and Change". How many young people would have jumped on the Obama rockstar bandwagon had they participated in this little drama? If they understood that those coming in the name of Change have often brought tyranny and despair, they would have been a bit less enthusiastic. The Bolsheviks offered Change, so, too the National Socialists. Change imposed is antithetical to freedom, and history's worst tyrants promised marvelous things, but how to make those dreams into reality? One has to force others to bend to your will. In fact, one has to force others to bend their thoughts and dreams to your will. The Change an Obama offers is an appeal to novelty, and in reality kills Hope. It is ultimately an exercise in raw power.
That is why, despite serious public opposition to the healthcare plan, Obama and his allies are pushing forward anyway; he is all about Change, and the will of the People be damned! Obama came out of this Leftist tradition, the radical chic; he spoke of "choosing his friends carefully" and picking very radical friends in his first book. He was a spoiled child who wanted to play radical, dressing in his radical clothes and smoking cigarettes with his radical friends. He would have benefitted immensely from Ms. Johnston's exercise; he would have perhaps understood what it means to be part of an overarching radical experiment in Change.
Now, don't misunderstand; change can be good, and it is often necessary though rarely pain-free. The American Civil War is an example of necessary change, and it was very painful and we are still suffering from some unintended consequences of that war. Certainly America changed for the worse in terms of the destruction of Federalism, the ingathering of power to Washington. Still, something had to be done to end slavery, and it was worth the pain in the end to change it. Of course, it would have been better had we ended it through discourse and compromise.
Another example of change would be the Revolutionary War; breaking with the Mother Country was a tough decision, and many colonists immigrated to Canada or returned to Britain rather than be compelled to renounce their allegiance to the Crown. But America's Revolution was a popular uprising; America wanted to be free to chart her own course, to act without King George and Parliament breathing down her neck. In many ways it was a conservative revolution; the colonies wanted to return to the status quo, the way things were before the French and Indian War when the colonies set their own rules and defended themselves. It was positive change, a change that devolved from the People.
But Obama, like Lenin before him, or like Stalin, or Hitler, or Mussolini, or Pol Pot, seeks a very different kind of change; a top-down change in the relationship between citizen and government, one designed to place the citizen into subservience to his aristocratic dreams of collectivization. He intends to force the citizens of this country into pre-drilled boltholes, to straitjacket America into a template designed by his social engineer friends. Instead of change coming as free men create the world around them, shaping society for the benefit of themselves and their neighbors, he would impose all manner of restraints, up to and including control of speech and of thought. Oh, he doesn't see it that way, and i will be accused of getting carried away here, but that is the ultimate goal of all such reformers, of the radical chic such as Obama. They have accepted a worldview that believes in the material nature of man and his infinite malleability to social constraints. So many on the Left accept materialism as a given, and so the quaint American notion of "God given" rights and duties seem silly. No sir! Man is inherently good, and can be molded as surely as a potter molds clay. This was at the heart of the philosophy of Karl Marx, of Nietzche, of the intellectual heroes of revolutionaries the world over. Obama may not see himself even as a radical, because he has embraced what is now a venerable old belief system. But at the heart of this system is the imposition of Change by force of law - meaning by the threat of violence. Government derives it's power ultimately from the sword.
I wish our Savior-in-Chief had experienced this exercise when he was a in school.
A tip of the porkpie to the Drudge Report.
Article by Daryl Montgomery
from Project Shining City website
While this report is centered on New York State and Wall Street bonuses, both having national and international implications, the praise at the end for the NY State Comptroller begs the question: what about other states, such as Missouri or Illinois? Granted, such reporting is dull in general, but if your state doesn't detail what is going on in public statements, it makes it difficult for those bloggers and others that want to find out where corporate money is going within their state. And there are some major corporations spread about the country, including the three states mentioned above.
New York State Comptroller's
Wall Street Bonus Update
I attended the February 23rd press conference given by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli where he announced Wall Street bonuses tallied at least $20.3 billion in 2009 and industry profits could exceed $55 billion for the year - nearly three times the previous record. While a blogger or two from a major political website is occasionally included in such events, this may have been the first time a blogger for an investing/economics site was invited.
The Wall Street bonuses revealed by the comptroller were literally that - compensation paid to employees working in New York City. All of these firms are international in scope so payments made to employees working elsewhere, and these could be considerable, were not included in the totals. Moreover, the bonus numbers were based on cash payments or recognized deferred compensation, options that were cashed in during 2009 for instance. Stock options granted, but still outstanding are not part of the numbers.
The comptroller's office noted that many Wall Street firms delayed cash bonus payments and increased stock and other forms of deferred compensation in 2009. Many top executives received no cash bonuses last year, but got stock options instead. This made the bonus amount for 2009 to appear to grow less than it actually did, keeping the apparent increase to only 17%. Wall Street executives received larger salaries as well as part of their compensation.
In 2008, Wall Street firms lost $42.6 billion and granted at least $17 billion in bonuses according to the comptroller's figures. Never in history has incompetence proved to be so lucrative. If you screwed up at work and almost drove your company out of business would you get a big cash reward for doing so? Yet, the perpetrators of the biggest financial collapse in history were richly rewarded for their efforts. How is this possible and where did the money come from? Government bailouts are the answer to both questions. Wall Street got money from the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury and then funneled that money into its executive's pockets. The government in turn got that money from your bank account. The other question that needs to be answered is how did Wall Street triple its profits from the previous high in 2007 when U.S. unemployment reached 10% and the GDP was negative in 2009?
The New York State Comptroller is the sole trustee for a $128 billion pension fund. New York State, along with the other major state and city pension funds, is responsible for a huge amount of market investment. While Wall Street knows about what goes on in the nation's comptroller's offices, most of the activity remains unknown and unseen by the investing public. Investors have a right to know what is going on with public money. Including bloggers, who are the people's press after all, in the news flow is a major step in the right direction. Comptroller DiNapoli deserves credit for opening the process.
February 24, 2010
Jack Kemp forwards this:
Nearly 25% of all mortgages are underwater
By Les Christie, staff writerFebruary 23, 2010: 2:27 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- More bad news on the housing bust front: Nearly 25% of all mortgage borrowers were underwater, meaning they more on their loans than their homes are worth.
First American CoreLogic, the research firm that monitors housing equity, reported Tuesday that 11.3 million homeowners -- or 24% of all homes with mortgages -- were underwater as of the end of 2009. That's up from 23% and 10.7 million borrowers three month earlier.
Nevada was the state with the worst record at 70% of all mortgaged properties underwater. That was followed by Arizona (51%), Florida (48%), Michigan (39%) and California (35%).
For many homeowners, being underwater, also know as negative equity, has few consequences. If they're not planning to sell and can afford their monthly bills, they can wait out the downturn.
For others, however, plunging underwater can spell disaster. If they become unemployed or have a financial emergency, they have no equity to tap. Or, if they need to downsize or sell their home to relocate for a job, they can't.
"Negative equity is a significant drag on both the housing market and on economic growth,"said Mark Fleming, chief economist with First American CoreLogic. "It is driving foreclosures and decreasing mobility for millions of homeowners."
Traditionally, being underwater was one of two main factors in determining a borrower's likelihood of foreclosure. The other is having sufficient income to pay bills. But, there's an increasingly important exception: strategic default. As equity gets more and more negative, some homeowners are choosing to quit paying and give the keys to the bank.
As long as negative equity remains a big problem, it will be difficult to stem the tide of foreclosures that continue to plague many local real estate markets around the nation.
"Since we expect home prices to slightly increase during 2010, negative equity will remain the dominant issue in the housing and mortgage markets for some time to come," said Fleming.
My father-in-law forwards this. Seems that Senator James Inhofe is demanding an investigation into Climategate - and Al Gore!
From the Pajamas Media exclusive:
"Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) today asked the Obama administration to investigate what he called “the greatest scientific scandal of our generation” — the actions of climate scientists revealed by the Climategate files, and the subsequent admissions by the editors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).
Senator Inhofe also called for former Vice President Al Gore to be called back to the Senate to testify.
“In [Gore's] science fiction movie, every assertion has been rebutted,” Inhofe said. He believes Vice President Gore should defend himself and his movie before Congress.
Just prior to a hearing at 10:00 a.m. EST, Senator Inhofe released a minority staff report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which he is ranking member. Senator Inhofe is asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether there has been research misconduct or criminal actions by the scientists involved, including Dr. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University and Dr. James Hansen of Columbia University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Since the Climategate files were released, the IPCC has been forced to retract a number of specific conclusions — such as a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — and has been forced to confirm that the report was based in large part on reports from environmental activist groups instead of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Dr. Murari Lal, an editor of the IPCC AR4 report, admitted to the London Daily Mail that he had known the 2035 date was false, but was included in the report anyway “purely to put political pressure on world leaders.”
Based on this minority staff report, Senator Inhofe will be calling for an investigation into potential research misconduct and possible criminal acts by the researchers involved. At the same time, Inhofe will ask the Environmental Protection Agency to reopen its consideration of an Endangerment Finding for carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Federal Clean Air Act, and will ask Congress to withdraw funding for further consideration of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
In requesting that the EPA reopen the Endangerment Finding, Inhofe joins with firms such as the Peabody Energy Company and several state attorneys general (such as Texas and Virginia) in objecting to the Obama administration’s attempt to extend regulatory control over carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Senator Inhofe believes this staff report “strengthens the case” for the Texas and Virginia attorneys general."
What certain activist scientists have done is construct a house of cards and managed to convince many that that house is built of brick. When viewed from the angle that they want us to view it, the structure appears substantial and formidable, but the reality is it is built with thin pieces of paper, and any wind will blow it. The wind blew at East Anglia, and now the whole flimsy artiface is collapsing!
Let's see how fast the Obama Administration addresses this; don't hold your breath.
February 23, 2010
This from the Federalist Patriot:
"Suppose you suggest to a congressman that given our budget crisis, we could save some money by dispensing with the 2010 census. I guarantee you that he'll say something along the lines that the Constitution mandates a decennial counting of the American people and he would be absolutely right. Article I, Section 2 of our Constitution reads: 'The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.' What purpose did the Constitution's framers have in mind ordering an enumeration or count of the American people every 10 years? The purpose of the headcount is to apportion the number of seats in the House of Representatives and derived from that, along with two senators from each state, the number of electors to the Electoral College. The Census Bureau tells us that this year, it will use a shorter questionnaire, consisting of only 10 questions. From what I see, only one of them serves the constitutional purpose of enumeration -- namely, 'How many people were living or staying at this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2010?' The Census Bureau's shorter questionnaire claim is deceptive at best. The American Community Survey, long form, that used to be sent to 1 in 6 households during the decennial count, is now being sent to many people every year. Here's a brief sample of its questions, and I want someone to tell me which question serves the constitutional function of apportioning the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives: Does this house, apartment, or mobile home have hot and cold running water, a flush toilet, a bathtub or shower, a sink with a faucet, a refrigerator, a stove? Last month, what was the cost of electricity for this house, apartment, or mobile home? How many times has this person been married? After each question, the Bureau of the Census provides a statement of how the answer meets a federal need. I would prefer that they provide a statement of how answers to the questions meet the constitutional need as expressed in Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. ... Americans need to stand up to Washington's intrusion into our private lives. ... Unless a census taker can show me a constitutional requirement, the only information I plan to give are the number and names of the people in my household."
--economist Walter E. Williams
This will, perhaps, give you a surprise!
February 21, 2010
The Associated Press has an article out today about the Israeli Air Force revealing a huge new FLEET of drone airplanes that can reach Iran.
The reasons for revealing this are too obvious to state, except for one. It makes those in the West feel and think somewhat more optimistic. This is indeed welcome news.
Here's the link to the AP story...
Recently Jack Kemp posted a piece about the Tenure Killer, and he noted something that has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. Amy Bishop was not only a radical leftist and Obama worshipper, but the people she killed did not even have the decency to be white children of privilege. http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/amy_bishop_killed_2_blacks_an_asian_indian_
What makes this a story is the willfull blindness of the media; they would be quick as a March Hare on Valentine's Day if Bishop had been a Tea Party member, would report the racial aspects in breathless hysteria. Since it is one of their own they make no mention of the racial aspects of this story, indeed, they hope it will die a dull death. It is not helpful to the narrative they are desperately trying to establish.
On numerous occasions the Obama Administration has tried to create the impression (via Homeland Security reports and other instruments) that America is about to be engulfed in right-wing extremist terrorism. That this was left-wing murder damages this paradigm, one that the mainstream media would like to foster.
But they had a new case to use; recently a Texas man flew a small aircraft into the IRS building in Austin. This was perfect for their purposes; an angry "Tea Party" type protesting taxes by committing an act of domestic terrorism! The Southern Law Poverty Center could not have asked for more.
But there is just one problem; Stack was clearly left-leaning.
Here is his online suicide note/manifesto http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/blotter/entries/2010/02/18/internet_note_posted_by_man_li.html?cxntcid=breaking_news
Here are the pertinent passages:
"Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in."
““The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. “
"I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution."
"The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."
Now, no conservative would voice such opinions; this guy was more in line with National Socialism. Indeed, his list of grievences read more like a chapter from Mein Kampf. And that last suggests that the Stack Attack was prompted by a plain old socialist worldview. Stack's hatred for business and the wealthy more than matches his hatred for a government which apparently has wronged him, or at least he has perceived it thus.
Many liberals will point to his diatribe against the IRS and his anti-tax stance as proof of Stack's conservative impulses. It should be pointed out that many radical leftists oppose paying taxes because they think it wrong to fund the "corrupt capitalist system". For example http://www.wartaxboycott.org/ or http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jan/18/withholding-tax-rbs-bonuses Shoot, even the granddaddy of environmentalism - Thoreau - refused to pay taxes. It is a fine old liberal tradition, and one followed by such modern day luminaries as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner.
Liberals want other people - particularly those "rich bastards" who make a decent living - to shoulder a huge tax burden, while they themselves should be exempt. It is not that they are for across the board heavy taxes, but rather, they want to use taxes as a weapon for class warfare. To lump a guy like Stack in with Tea Partiers is like lumping Hitler in with Washington, Madison, Jefferson, etc. Oh, wait; they've already tried to do that!
It should be pointed out that Stack also hated George W. Bush and the Catholic Church.
As Liz Blaine points out at Newsrealblog:
"Even the leftists at the Democratic Underground recognize one of their own,
“I think he presented his case well, lucidly, and has expressed what many of us here on DU have expressed: Anger at the injustices done to the American people, frustration at the unwillingness of our government to help us, and helplessness at the realization that we ultimately have no power.”
"There are many points made that I read on DU everyday.”'
So, what we have is a left-leaning, bitter man who has been sorely disappointed by the failure of the system he himself advocated. What do such liberals think will happen when power and wealth are gathered together in one place? Liberals labored for decades to centralize America, to take power from the states or the people and give it to an elite in Washington. Why should they be surprised that those elites are corrupt and tyrannical? The Founding Fathers knew that would be the case, which is why they devised the system they did. If you hire a mafia hit man to whack your neighbor, you should not be surprised when you hear footsteps behind you. As the Bible says "he who lives by the sword shall surely perish by it"; this is especially true where government is concerned, as government operates entirely by the sword. Coercion is the operating principle, and that sword can cut you as easily as it can the guy you want cut.
Stack is a cautionary tale; be careful what you wish for. He wanted to punish others, and wound up being punished by others. His liberal dream turned nightmare.
That's something that we should all remember.
Wil Wirtanen forwards this story. Many of you may have already seen it, but it's worth repeating:
A very pointed story of the future.
Subject: THE DINNER ROLL
Date: Sunday, February 14, 2010, 1:12 PM
This simple little story paints a pretty clear picture!
The Dinner Roll
Once upon a time I was invited to the White House for a private dinner with the President. I am a respected businessman, with a factory that produces memory chips for computers and portable electronics. There was some talk that my industry was being scrutinized by the administration, but I paid it no mind. I live in a free country. There's nothing that the government can do to me if I haven't broken any laws. My wealth was earned honestly and an invitation to dinner with an American President is an honor.
I checked my coat, was greeted by the Chief of Staff, and joined the President in a yellow dining room. We sat across from each other at a table draped in white linen. The Great Seal was embossed on the China . Uniformed staff served our dinner.
The meal was served and I was startled when my waiter suddenly reached out, plucked a dinner roll off my plate and began nibbling it as he walked back to the kitchen.
"Sorry about that," said the President. "Andrew is very hungry."
Being upset, I began: "I don't appreciate........." but as I looked into the calm brown eyes across from me, I felt immediately guilty and petty. After all, it was just a dinner roll.
"Of course," I concluded and reached for my glass..
However, before I could take a hold of the glass another waiter took the glass away and swallowed the wine in a single gulp.
"And his brother, Eric, is very thirsty." said the President.
I didn't say anything. The President is testing my compassion, I thought.. I withheld my comments and decided to play along. I don't want to seem unkind..
My plate was whisked away before I had time to lift my fork.
And, the President said; "Eric's children are also quite hungry."
With a lurch, I crashed to the floor. My chair had been pulled out from under me.
I stood, brushing myself off angrily and watched as my chair was carried from the room.
"And their grandmother can't stand for long", said the President.
I excused myself, smiling outwardly, but inside feeling like a fool. Obviously I had been invited to the White House to be sport for some game. I reached for my coat to find it too had been taken.
I turned back to the President as he said, "Their grandfather doesn't like the cold."
I wanted to shout, "that was my coat! " But again, I looked at the placid smiling face of my host and decided I was being a poor sport. I spread my hands helplessly and chuckled.
Then I felt my hip pocket and realized my wallet was gone. I excused myself and walked to a phone on an elegant side table. It wasn't long before I learned my credit cards had been maxed out, my bank accounts emptied, my retirement and equity portfolios had vanished and my wife had been thrown out of our home. Apparently, the waiters and their families were moving in.
The President hadn't moved or spoken as I learned all this, but finally I lowered the phone into its cradle and turned to face him.
"Andrew's whole family has made bad financial decisions. They haven't planned for retirement and they need a house.. They recently defaulted on a sub prime mortgage. I told them they could have your home. They need it more than you do."
My hands were shaking. I felt faint. I stumbled back to the table and knelt on the floor.
The President cheerfully cut his meat, ate his steak, and drank his wine. I lowered my eyes and stared at the small grey circles on the tablecloth that were water drops.
"By the way," He added, "I have just signed an Executive Order nationalizing your factories. I'm firing you as head of your business. I'll be operating the firm now for the benefit of all mankind. There's a whole bunch of Eric's and Andrews out there and they can't come to you for jobs groveling like beggars."
I looked up. The President dropped his spoon into the empty ramekin which had been his creme Brule. He drained the last drops of his wine. As the table was cleared the President leaned back in his chair and stared at me. I clung to the edge of the table as if it were a ledge and I were a man hanging over an abyss. I thought of the years behind me, of the life I had lived, the life I had earned with a lifetime of work, risk and struggle.
Why was I punished? How had I allowed it to be taken? What game had I played and lost? I looked across the table and noticed with some surprise that there was no game board between us.
What had I done wrong?
As if answering the unspoken thought, the President suddenly cocked his head, locked his empty eyes to mine and bared his million dollar smile chuckling wryly as he folded his hand and saying;
"You should have stopped me at the dinner roll," he said.
February 20, 2010
Jack Kemp (not the late politician)
The press is covering this up, but the liberal Harvard trained woman professor who killed 3 in the faculty lounge in Alabama killed an Asian Indian head of the department ("— including department chair Gopi Podila" http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2451004/posts
and two Black faculty members as stated at Amer. Thinker.
I can't find any other mention of this with free search engines. The left is trying to cover things up. Maybe the big liberal, Obama supporting prof. Amy Bishop thought that the others weren't as worthy as her, although I doubt she will admit in words what she admitted in her actions with a gun.
My brother Brian recently had an article in Townhall http://townhall.com/columnists/BrianBirdnow/2010/02/16/a_great_one_term_president, and he received hate mail from a typical Democrat troll. Specifically, this guy was touting the Center for American Progress talking points about reconcilliation being used by the Republicans during the Bush Administration. His comment:
"Seeing as Bush and his Republican Congress passed 3 tax cuts to the rich using the Reconciliation process without any Democrat votes thereby depriving the treasury of trillions of dollars leading to President Obamas inherited deficits don't you think what goes around Should come around?"
Now, this is full of several whoppers - such as tax cuts for "the rich" when the reality is quite different:
"In 2000, the top 60 percent of taxpayers paid 100 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 40 percent collectively paid no income taxes. Lawmakers writing the 2001 tax cuts faced quite a challenge in giving the bulk of the income tax savings to a population that was already paying no income taxes.
Rather than exclude these Americans, lawmakers used the tax code to subsidize them. (Some economists would say this made that group's collective tax burden negative.)First, lawmakers lowered the initial tax brackets from 15 percent to 10 percent and then expanded the refundable child tax credit, which, along with the refundable earned income tax credit (EITC), reduced the typical low-income tax burden to well below zero. As a result, the U.S. Treasury now mails tax "refunds" to a large proportion of these Americans that exceed the amounts of tax that they actually paid. All in all, the number of tax filers with zero or negative income tax liability rose from 30 million to 40 million, or about 30 percent of all tax filers. The remaining 70 percent of tax filers received lower income tax rates, lower investment taxes, and lower estate taxes from the 2001 legislation.
Consequently, from 2000 to 2004, the share of all individual income taxes paid by the bottom 40 percent dropped from zero percent to –4 percent, meaning that the average family in those quintiles received a subsidy from the IRS. (See Chart 6.) By contrast, the share paid by the top quintile of households (by income) increased from 81 percent to 85 percent."
This piece by the Heritage Foundation also puts the lie to his assertion that tax cuts resulted in growing deficits - it was domestic spending and entitlements, the very thing a good liberal such as this august gentleman strongly supports.
I sent this reply to Brian:
"You should ask this guy if he knows what his own party has implemented. Ask him if he has ever heard of the Byrd Rule.
Bill Clinton tried to pass Hillarycare with reconciliation, and Robert Byrd - a Democrat - scotched it with his resolution. He set the standard that the Bush Administration operated under. Oh, and tax cuts were purely fiscal matters - unlike this power grab that Pelosi and Reid are attempting. As a final note, perhaps this fellow should read the roll call results on the Bush tax cuts; I count twelve Democrats voting for H.R. 1836 and 7 more either voting present or not voting. That would have made it 46 yea to 45 nay. Doubtless the Bill could have been blocked with a bit of pressure by Dems on their own side.
Democrats change the rules, creating the simple majority needed for reconciliation, then complain when their own trap snaps their legs. They owned both houses during the session of the 93rd Congress in 1974, so this whole thing is their creation to begin with.
So, the Left's whole argument is two wrongs make a right? If this fool thought it was wrong for the Republican Congress to pass Bush tax cuts with reconcilliation, that makes it o.k. for them to do likewise. What hypocrites.
So, the Democrats hold no principles, prefering to change the rules whenever it benefits their agenda. Remember when the Republicans were in charge? There was discussion of "going nuclear" to eliminate the Democrat's power to filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees, but the Republicans chose not to do so in the interest of fair play. They also wanted to keep the filibuster open for future use, should they need it some day. Was this honored by their good friends across the aisle?
They didn't need reconcilliation, anyway; they had a filibuster-proof Senate, but could not keep their own party in line. Using reconcilliation is merely a means of covering their own failure, and hiding the fact that they can't even keep their own members on board with this abyssmal piece of legislation.
But then, we have never expected honesty from liberals.
Interesting analysis of the results of the stimulus.
The 'Stimulus' Actually Raised Unemployment
By ALAN REYNOLDS
Posted 05:58 PM ET
President Obama seized on the one-year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as an opportunity to take credit for the belated and tenuous economic recovery.
But the economy always recovered from recessions, long before anyone imagined that government borrowing could "create jobs." And we didn't used to have to wait nearly two years for signs of recovery, as we did this time.
A famous 1999 study by Christina Romer, who now heads the Council of Economic Advisers, found the average length of recessions from 1887 to 1929 was only 10.3 months, with the longest lasting 16 months.
Recessions lasted longer during the supposedly enlightened postwar era, with three of them lasting 16 to 21 months.
Keynesian countercyclical schemes have never worked in this country, just as they never worked in Japan.
The issue of "fiscal stimulus" must not be confused with TARP or with the Federal Reserve slashing interest rates and pumping up bank reserves.
One might argue that those Treasury and Fed programs helped prevent a hypothetical depression, but it's impossible to make that argument about ARRA.
The "fiscal stimulus" refers only to a deliberate $862 billion increase in budget deficits. Importantly, only 23% ($200 billion) was spent in 2009, with 47% in 2010 and 30% in later years (according to the Congressional Budget Office this January).
How could the initial $200 billion have possibly had anything to do with the 5.7% rise in fourth-quarter GDP?
The Keynesian fable presumes that faster federal spending and consumers spending their federal benefit checks were the driving forces in the rebound.
Yet the GDP report clearly said the gain "reflected an increase in private inventory investment, a deceleration of imports and an upturn in nonresidential, fixed investment that was partly offset by decelerations in federal government (defense) spending and in personal consumption expenditures."
Since federal spending accounted for exactly zero of the only significant increase GDP, how could such spending possibly have "created or saved" 2 million jobs?
The bill was launched last year amid grandiose promises of "shovel ready" make-work projects.
In reality, as the CBO explains, "five programs accounted for more than 80% of the outlays from ARRA in 2009: Medicaid, unemployment compensation, Social Security ... grants to state and local governments ... and student aid."
In other words, what was labeled a "stimulus" bill was actually a stimulus to government transfer payments — cash and benefits that are primarily rewards for not working, or at least not working too hard.
Vice President Joe Biden suggested that much of the real stimulus will occur this year. Yet the new budget has a chapter called "Reviving Job Creation" that does not even mention the 2009 giveaway legislation.
In 2010, as in 2009, the ARRA is mainly a stimulus to government. Shovel-ready or not, highway programs will get only $10 billion of the borrowed booty, about 2%. "Nearly half of the outlays resulting from ARRA in 2010," says the CBO, "will be for programs administered by Health and Human Services or the Department of Education."
From the CBO figures, it appears that 39% to 44% of the $862 billion will be for increased transfer payments, including refundable tax credits (checks to people who don't pay taxes).
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 had extended federally funded unemployment benefits by 53 weeks, and another bill in November added 20 more — bringing the total up to 99 weeks in states with high unemployment.
As the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee minutes for January noted: "The several extensions of emergency unemployment insurance benefits appeared to have raised the measured unemployment rate, relative to levels recorded in past downturns, by encouraging some who have lost their jobs to remain in the labor force. ... Some estimates suggested it could account for 1 percentage point or more of the increase in the unemployment rate during this recession."
My own estimate, in past articles available at cato.org, is that the stimulus act added about 2 percentage points to the unemployment rate.
The evidence that extended benefits have that effect is overwhelming, fully documented by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and by at least two economists in the Obama administration.
It turns out that raising the unemployment rate by a percentage point or two is the only clearly identifiable effect the stimulus act had on the jobs market. It stimulated unemployment.
• Reynolds is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of "Income and Wealth" (Greenwood Press, 2006).
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